Internet Training For Seniors – The Final BTOP Report

The Illinois Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP,) which explored the most effective methods for providing Internet training for seniors, was the only BTOP Sustainable Broadband Adoption (SBA) program focusing on seniors.  It is, far and away, the most comprehensive effort in exploring the opportunities and challenges for getting seniors online and using the Internet to date.

The BTOP program was conceptualized and organized by Don Samuelson of DSSA Strategies in Lake Forest, Illinois; implemented by Andrew Lowenstein and Gina Baxter of Connected Living, Inc. (CL) of Quincy, Massachusetts; evaluated by Jim Ciesla of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and funded by BTOP, an initiative of NTIA in the Department of Commerce.

This report explains Samuelson’s conceptualization of the program, the  key results in the progress reports submitted by CL to BTOP over the nine quarters of the program: the three NUI evaluations — 1.) mid 2011; 2. year-end 2011; 3. summer of 2012 and 4. Samuelson’s final assessment of the total program in 2013.

These four perspectives provide a rich collection of perspectives on this important demonstration program. They also begin to describe opportunities for future analysis, study and research.

Read the full report.

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2 Responses to Internet Training For Seniors – The Final BTOP Report

  1. Don says:

    I’d like to invite as many readers as possible to make comments on the Report, ask questions, propose additioal study or research ideas. We’ll also be posting shortly our survey results on what residents are doing online a year after the completion of training, with access to a laptop and free connectivity. We’re also finishing the production of 33 resident video interviews prompted by the following questions: (1) what prompted you to get online?: (2) how difficult was it to do?; (3) what are you doing online now? (4) what difference has being online made in your life?; and (5) what are the applictions and devices you’re looking forward to in the future?

    This was a credible first effort by everyone. It’s hot the end of the story. More likely the beginning. We have 40,000,000 seniors in America: 20,000,000 are offline; 15,000,000 are getting started; and 5,000,000 are fully engaged and true believers. Work to do.

  2. Dena W says:

    I really enjoyed the report. I think it is great that so many people now have the ability to learn about IT through sites like and others. Thanks for getting the word out!

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